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The Dark Side Of The Sun Paperback – 22 Apr 1988


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (22 April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552133264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552133265
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 15 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Before the success of the Discoworld novels, Terry Pratchett tried his hands at a couple of science fiction novels. His first, 1976's The Darks Side of the Sun, deals with the oft-tackled idea of a creator race, one (here called the Jokers) which shaped the universe and its inhabitants but have since disappeared.
The novel serves as a travelogue through Pratchett's future universe, and with its cast of well-developed aliens and locations this is a rich journey. Probability maths, quantum physics and evolution are dealt with in a light and readable manner with a small but well drawn cast. The novel isn't laugh out loud funny, but there are elements of Pratchett's trademark humour.
A short but successful piece of sf universe building, recommended even for those who may not enjoy the authors comedic fantasy output. After re-reading this the real mystery is not the whereabouts of the Jokers, but why with his prolific and relentless Discworld output Terry Pratchett has never found either the time or the inclination to produce another science fiction novel - on the evidence of this he certainly has the talent.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Semioticghost on 2 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
This Terry Pratchet novel is a hilarious, coming-of-age romp through a funky and furiously original galaxy populated by 52 intelligent races and beings with endearing quirks. Some of these beings are luckier than others and our hero, Dom Savalos, is one of them. On the eve of his ascension to the chairmanship of his planet, he finds out about something that has preoccupied some of he best minds around - the science of probability maths, which predicts both likely and seemingly inevitable outcomes of individual lives. Dom find himself in the position of being predestined to find the world on which the enigmatic jokers reside - a prehistoric, highly evolved race thought by many to be responsible for most of the other intelligent life in the galaxy. But the story only starts here...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 5 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Young Dom Sabalos is about to become Chairman of an entire planet. That means giving up countless adolescent pleasures. He won't be able to make exploratory journeys into the marshes or ponder the mysteries of the Joker Towers. Of Old Earth ancestry, Dom's home is Widdershins, a planet producing a special pharmaceutical - pilac. The demand for this drug has made the Sabalos family powerful and rich beyond calculation. It says much that Dom's godfather is a bank. IS a bank - one that takes up an entire planet.

Being rich and powerful evokes enemies, even when your wealth is gratefully contributed to by all who take pilac. Which is nearly all sentient creatures. There are other species scattered about the universe, but they all appear to be approximately the same duration - four or five million years. Before that, there seem to have been The Jokers. As Dom flees Widdershins to thwart assassination, he seeks answers to the Joker mystery. The quest leads to endless adventures and opens many questions in the reader's mind. The main one being: "Who are we, and where did we come from?"

In today's world, "Dark Side" can occupy only a special niche. Older - sorry! "established" - Pratchett readers may look upon this book as an historical curiosity. The really established SF reader will see the obvious reliance on Isaac Asimov's "Robot" series. In "Dark Side", the very intelligent robot is named "Isaac". Douglas Adams' "probability math" is given place and complex problems are solved by a team of a poet and a "mad computer". The book's themes and characters are very "1970s SciFi". Yet the sparks of the later Discworld books shine brightly here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Blossom on 2 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
Terry Pratchett wrote this early novel as a parody of Issac Asimov's books, with partial success. It's a nice read one time, if you're a Pratchett fan, but otherwise it's not a very good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Bradley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this shortly after it was published, and of course no-one had heard of Pratchett. Discworld existed only as a twinkle deep in the undug mines of the author's subconscious and, most importantly, I had no preconceived notions of what a Terry Pratchett novel might reasonably contain.

I enjoyed the book immensely, not for the plot - which was certainly adequate and interesting - but for the details. Away from the Discworld expectations, Pratchett presented as a more casual and less angst-ridden Moorcock, painting an involving tripscape which comes into focus in humorous, fine brushstrokes which tickle the ol' funnybone without holding you down and relentlessly tormenting your ribs. This may casuse problems for those reared on the Disc, but if they can put aside expectations of Death strolling in on Binky, I can promise an enjoyable read.

A tiny mechanical spider weaves a web of fine metal wires, wanders off to find a power source and waits for the inevitable mechanical fly to get zapped in a blue-flash as it blunders into the web. The spider dismantles the feebly protesting bug with its own spanner-shaped claws...
Much better in Pratchett's words, of course, and in context, but lovely imagery. If Dune had had this kind of counterpoint imagery, it may well have attracted a wider and younger audience. That, of course will have happened in one of the many universes of alternatives generated by Dark Side's probability maths, but their audience won't be reading the version we all know and love.

The literary cognoscenti will thrill to the misquoted but contextually appropriate parody of Aristophanes, and this, like so much of the fine texture of the story is simply dropped in as a throwaway gag.
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